You may have noticed lately that I’ve been posting a lot of book reviews, as well as some other product reviews. First off, sorry, not sorry for the book reviews- I love to read, and love free books even more. On the other stuff (some of which is coming), they’re things I look at purchasing, but have a (slight) fear of change. Face products? I need to use them- but don’t want to spend a ton of money trying out all kinds of different things. Enter the product review. For these things, I want to use the product for at least two weeks, sometimes longer depending on how often you’re supposed to use it.
Anyway, that’s out of the way. Scott and I met when we were both working at H&R Block. Obviously we are both very conscious of anything we (I) get that could be taxable, or a write off, at the end of the year. Nowadays, I just give my tax information to him and he sends everything down to a CPA to deal with. Eventually that could include the free books and other products.
Below is the spreadsheet that I have created. It breaks down what I receive by month, the list/cover price of the item, and the sale/ Amazon price. I keep a running tally of both over to the side. I created it on Google Sheets, which is very similar to Excel, and it saves it to my Google Drive account to access anywhere. Plus it saves automatically.
Why keep track of the list price vs. the Amazon price? Amazon is my “Fair Market Value” measurement source. If you’re anything like me, you don’t pay full price for anything- since Amazon is… Amazon it’s pretty good indicator for market price. I’m not going to tell you that you have to use one over the other for tax purposes, or that one is better than the other- that depends on your individual situation. I’m telling you to record it, and hand it off to someone who knows what they’re doing- the more information readily available the better!
Theoretically, if/when I start offering sponsors and posts, I would make a new spreadsheet/tab for that. Then, I would have a third combining all of the information, and a “monthly earnings” and “YTD” line for Google Adsense and Amazon Affiliate revenue.
What are your record-keeping tips and tricks?